I always love a good story with a pet in it. Adding a furry (or feathered, or gilled) friend can add charm and whimsy, or comic relief, whether the animal plays a pivotal role or is just there to provide your characters with companionship. From Harry’s owl Hedwig in Harry Potter, Dog from Good Omens, or the much less friendly Church in Stephen King’s Pet Semetary, animals in fiction is a common theme.
In my own work, a very important kitty plays a role in my Siren Song series. Serendipity is the pet cat of a supporting character named Cindy, but she takes a keen liking to my protagonist, June Coffin, and they become steadfast pals, to the point June eventually becomes her owner. ‘Dipity’ for short (June also calls her Dip), she ends up playing a vital role in saving June’s life (and playing tongue-in-cheek homage to an urban legend). Dipity is a tortoiseshell, and I openly admit she’s modeled 100% after my own tortoiseshell kitty. I’m not sure, however, that my own cat could stop being lazy long enough to become a hero…
In the paranormal romance series I’m currently working on, there’s also a Basset hound belonging to the hero, who ends up playing a very important role. I guess I like writing about pets who are more than meets the eye.
Even if your animal companion doesn’t play the part of a hero or end up having secret magical powers, including a pet is a fun touch. A lot of cozy mysteries include, and even revolve around pets, I’ve noticed.
Do you have a favorite book or series that includes an animal companion? Do you include animals in your own writing?